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Thread: lessions learned while hunting

  1. #1
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    Default lessions learned while hunting

    I just thought that I would share one of the most bone headed things that I have ever done. A few days ago I was watching a hill side for moose and I couldn't help myself. I just had to go down to the bottom of the hill and "see what is down there." Since it is was hot outside I decided to leave my pack on the hill side where I was sitting. As I started my walk down the hill I thought to myself that I should mark my pack on the GPS ,but that was in the ATV so I just kept on going. After a good hour of hiking in the thickest alders that I have ever walked in; I decided to head back to my perch and watch the hill side for the rest of the afternoon. I got a little turned around and ended up 50 yards or so from where I wanted to end up. Then I started to look for my pack. I couldn't find it anywhere. I thought no big deal. I will just do circles and find my pack. After an hour of looking and still no pack, I started to get a little worried. I had some expensive equipment in my pack: pistol, spotting scope, rain gear, and the pack itself was a 100 dollars. I told myself to settle down and I would just walk back up to the ATV and retrace my steps. I walked up to the ATV and looked down and I didn't know exactly where I walked the four hours before. So I started down the hill again. Taking what I thought was the way that I would go. Another hour of looking and still no pack. I'm really starting to get worried now. The "old Lady" would never let me replace all of the stuff in the pack. So I walk back up to the ATV and take a deep breath. I start to think where would I walk. I started to take the easiest way down the hill and after about 20 minutes I looked over to my left and there it was laying on the hill side where I left it. I was so releaved to find it that I just sat there for 15 minutes and had to laugh a little at my bone head move, and told myself to never do that again. Has anyone else ever done anything like this before?

  2. #2
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    While stationed in Maine I was still hunting whitetails in the "Maine " woods. It was a cloudy day with a little snow. After about an hour and a ahlf I found some foot prints and thouoght it was strange that someone else was in here. After following the tracks for about 20 minutes it dawned on me that they looked very familiar. Yes, I had made a ciorcle and was following my own tracks. I was complete turned around and used the compass to get back to the logging road I had started on.

  3. #3
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Dropped a nelchina caribou and we all got up to run to where it went down and all three of us couldn't find it. We decided to go back to where we shot from and retrace our steps. Couldn't figure out where we shot from. Ended up doing a grid search of the hillside and I nearly stepped on the darn thing. Once we located it we found where we shot from. It paced of at about 40yds we all thought it was a farther distace than that. We learned to clearly mark our shooting position from that leason. At least then you can return to your starting point! Congrats on recovering your pack, I sure would hate to have to rebuy any of my gear!

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Default doubting your compass = bonehead move

    Mid-80s, took off outta here to hike unfamiliar country into the mtns. Got out of the river valley on the first plateaus and they were just thick black spruce 20' tall, mixed alder, a few small ponds, til we made it to some higher, harder, open ground. Had no problem navigating the six miles to the mtns, took a break, turned around, and on the way back, in the thick black spruce, did the exact same thing Bill S. describes, came back around on my trail. I had brought a compass, knew the direction back to home, took a bearing and headed off again, but about a half mile later I thought I should be seeing a higher hill across the river from where I started, and thought things didn't seem right. Took another bearing, made sure my belt buckle wasn't somehow messing the compass up, and it pointed right where I was headed, but I didn't believe it. Stupid. Put the compass in pocket, veered a tad right, and ended up AGAIN back on my own trail. Apparently, I tend to walk right <grin>. Decided to trust the compass and came out of those trees right where I was supposed to. Lesson learned: trust the compass.

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    Default Lessons learned

    Back in the 'old' days, early 1970's we were hunting a remote area east of King Salmon. We had hiked seven miles from the old air strip and had shot 9, yes 9 caribou a long way from the stirp where the plane was. At that time you could take 3 caribou in a season and there was three of us hunting.. It took us two days to get all of the meat back to base camp and the plane. After the first hunter was taken back to King Salmon an on the last load out, we flew by the area that we had taken the caribou, to see if anything thad been messing with the gut piles. Well as we flew over, not a half mile from where we shot the caribou was another air strip that we could have landed at.
    Lesson learned, do a little more scouting from the air BEFORE you land to get a better lay of the land.

  6. #6
    Member Phil's Avatar
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    Default Lost

    One of my hunting buddies has an expensive pair of sunglasses somewhere. I have a Gerber knife lying in the ferns on Kodiak. Everyone who spends lots of time outdoors looses stuff. I'm glad you actually found your pack - congratulations.

    It always amuses me to see small items in sporting goods stores that are in camo. I want anything small (like knives) in bright colors. At least that increases the chances that I won't loose them or I will find them when lost.

  7. #7
    Member 8x57 Mauser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil View Post
    ...

    It always amuses me to see small items in sporting goods stores that are in camo. I want anything small (like knives) in bright colors. At least that increases the chances that I won't loose them or I will find them when lost.
    Amen!

    My wife once bought me a headlamp and was worried if it was OK that she didn't spend an extra $5 to get the camo headband. I told her I was only gonna use it in the dark.

    The LEDs make it hard to hide from game anyway.

    (None of which means I haven't mislaid it around camp a few times...)

  8. #8

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    If you are extremely neas sighted as I am then you can relate, if not then rub about 1/2 a jar of vaseline directly to each eye and then go drive you're boat.
    I took my boat down river to check out an area and started hiking. It was a very warm day and I was sweating pretty good. I was resting and took my glasses off to wipe off my brow and laid them on the ground. I got up to get a rag from my pack that I had put down a few yards away and when I came back I could not find the glasses. I found them after about 15 minutes, which actually seemed like several hours. I like to think I can be calm when I need to and I knew the glasses were within a small area, but the panic was right there under the surface. Never again will my glasses be off my person. I am currenltl looking for an old pair to leave in my gear.

  9. #9

    Default Let me count the ways

    That alaska has tried to help me meet my maker in an early time fashionBTW I don't believe in cheating death--if it is meant to be, it is meant to be. I worked for George Palmer, Alaska Trophy Hunts back in 91, we went over to a camp to clean it up before the fall season was to begin. We had on regular boots and had to cross a stream that seemed like 30 yards wide, and was roughly calf high, it was cold in that water, so after doing our chores we were to cross back to the airstrip, I didn't see the point in crossing where it was so wide, so I found the narrow spot, being brilliant and a greenhorn I proudly stepped in---up to my waistnext step I was sucked under by the power of the currentI am a strong swimmer, and got to the other side quickly, but was out of breath due to the temp of the water sucking everything out of me, my boss just laughed, he told me that 30 seconds in that water would have froze me up and i would have been dinner for whatever found me downstream. So lesson learned, don't go to the skinniest part of the stream because it is the fastest and the deepest There were several other stories, but I can say that I learned from them, I think BTW, Phil, my dad lives in Liverpool, I hunt the booher lumber co property on tully farms road, great for deer/turkey! I leave to go bou hunting on thursday on the haul road

  10. #10
    Member lvfire's Avatar
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    Default

    Glad you found your pack. WAS YOUR HUNT SUCESSFUL?

  11. #11

    Default Marking your Pack

    I learned the hard way too, never drop your pack. It seems that whenever you do, you're always tempted to look over the next ridge, etc. Now the only time I drop my pack is when I need to mark a place, and when I do, I pull out the blaze orange t-shirt/flagging tape or something similar to make it easily visible.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lvfire View Post
    Glad you found your pack. WAS YOUR HUNT SUCESSFUL?

    Not that day it wasn't. To be honest I was so happy that I found my pack that I packed everything up and went back to camp. After spending over three hours total looking for the darn thing I figured it was time to go home and lick my wounds

  13. #13

    Default Me too!

    Years ago I was working nights and my buddy calls to tell me he spotted a Brown Bear on the side of a mountain and wants to go get it. I got off at 0600 and we found the bear on the mountain. When we are about 500 yards from it I take my pack off for the final approach. After a hour or so the wind shifts and the bear scoots. About 2 hours later I finally locate the pack that has my water in it. The bear was in the alders and the pack was on an open hill side. Another time it took me a bout an hour to find my 4" Mod. 29 after I sat it down due to a call of nature. Same buddy was laughing his head off. He did help me look for it though. What a friend!

  14. #14
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    I have dropped my pack a couple of times. I take my hiking stick, or the nearest tall bush or tree, and put flagging tape on it so I can see it. Its saved me from being in the same situation as swampmonkey. Even with the taqpe it took 20 minutes to find it.

  15. #15
    Member Roger45's Avatar
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    A couple of years ago, about 3 miles off the Ivasak, we parted out and hauled a Caribou back to the boat. Had 6 inches of slush and snow by the time we got back to camp. I realized somewhere I had lost my knife that I had used for over 25 years. Wanted to cry. This year, in a completely different area, I got stuck waiting for 3 hours by the side of the road. While enjoying the sunshine I went for a little walk and I am always looking for track, spore, and sign. I saw something smashed down in dried mud...so I kicked it with my boot. To my surprise I found another knife that fits my empty scabard Karma treated me well that trip as I harvested my first archery 'bou two days later!
    "...and then Jack chopped down the beanstock, adding murder and ecological vandalism to the theft, enticement and vandalism charges already mentioned, but he got away with it and lived happily ever after without so much as a guilty twinge about what he had done. Which proves that you can be excused just about anything if you're a hero, because no one asks the inconvenient questions." Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather

  16. #16

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    I won't tell on myself, but I will reveal the happenstance of two friends. They were dropped off on Black Lake in Unit 13 for a moose hunt. No timber, just high brush and willows. They spotted two bulls from camp and went up and took both together. Quartered them out and returned to camp to rest up. Spent the next three days looking for the kill site. When pilot returned, they got up in the sky and looked for a couple more hours from above. They never recovered from the loss and still can't believe it happened to them.

  17. #17
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    The one thing hunting in Alaska has taught me over the years is if it can happen it will happen just a matter of time.

  18. #18
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
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    Default Here's a couple-

    In reading these stories of lost knives, GPS units and even packs, I think I can top you guys. I lost my tent. No, it didn't fall off my pack somewhere, or get stolen out of my truck... it was completely set up and I couldn't find it! Yep.

    I was on a solo sheep hunt in the Chugach mountains. I set up my tent on a flat spot next to a pretty large boulder. It was late in the day, but I still had a couple of hours of daylight left, so I decided to climb a nearby rock slide and glass for a while. Taking a last look at my tent, an OD green Wild Country Odyssey, I realized that the dark color might make it hard to spot if I came back late. So I put my pack on top of the boulder, in an effort to make the tent easier to locate. I climbed the rock slide, glassed for a bit more than two hours and it was almost completely dark when I arrived back in the general vicinity of the tent. I realized that there were a LOT of boulders that looked just like the one by my tent. None of them had a pack on top of them. I groped around in the dark, begging God for help, for what seemed like an hour before I finally stumbled right into the tent! I could have survived the night out there without the tent or pack, but it would not have been fun.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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    "Dream big, and dare to fail." -Norman Vaughan
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  19. #19
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default walkin' in circles too.

    A couple of years ago we shot a decent ram on opening day.

    Well, this particular hunt got late, as most do, and after field dressing our sheep we headed back to our high camp to celebrate our good fortune and rest our bones.
    We started about a mile and a half from the camp and covered the distance rather quickly.
    I whipped out the gps and decided to get a quick update on the distance left-I knew we were getting closer. I saw per the GPS we were within about 500' from the tent--a large craggy spire ridge seperated us. A quick walk around that ridge down would have put us literally in our tent.
    BUT...in typical boneheaded fashion I doubted the gps reading--this in spite of my wife's insistance that we were going in the right direction. She pleaded with me to trust the reading.
    Things just didn't look right, obviously the dark was messing with me. Could we be that close to camp? No way.
    Sure enough after almost two hours of dangerous sidehilling in the wrong direction in the dark--I'm not exaggerating--we backtracked and walked around and down the spire ridge to our waiting camp. I felt absolutely idiotic and sorry, and was thankful we made it through the steep shale with heavy packs unharmed.
    I now trust the GPS and the wife!

    Frank

  20. #20
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    Default Lessons learned.... boy, where to start...

    Well, here's 2 of many.

    1. Never walk in to a new area in the dark and expect to find your way out after a day of hiking around.
    2. When coming down a ridge in the trees/brush or fog where you have limited visibility and no clear landmarks be VERY careful that you don't get on a finger ridge and end up in a different drainage.
    A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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